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Anti-Depressants & Pregnancy

(11 Posts)
marj1 Sat 30-May-09 18:09:56

Is anyone pregnant and taking anti-depressants? If so, which one are you taking?

I had been taking AD's for the past 7 years, since my daughter was born but stopped in December when I fell pregnant. Sadly I lost my baby at 19 weeks. I'm in a very dark place at the moment and feel like I need to go back on tablets but worried if I fall pregnant again I will have to come off them.

Are there any AD's you can take when pregnant, that are considered "safe" - just need a bit of help and advice before I go and see GP.


Flamesparrow Sat 30-May-09 19:56:02

I am on citalopram. Started at the beginning of the week (am now 20 weeks) for antenatal depression.

There is a risk of withdrawal when the baby is born, but the choice of dealing with that, and me staying sane enough to survive the pregnancy - I have gone with that.

Thankfully I know that my AND leaves as soon as the baby comes so I am planning to come off them at about 36 weeks to give the baby a chance without them iyswim.

I am so sorry to hear of your loss

marj1 Sat 30-May-09 20:06:06

Thanks Flamesparrow, previously I've been on Fluoxetine and then Venlafaxine, very high dose of 150mg per day, weened it down with GP's help and advice and eventually came off in January. The side effects coming off though were absolutely awful, not something I particularly want to go through again but if it helps control my moods and how I am feeling I think it may be worth it. I can't really see me ever being free from depression.

Flamesparrow Sat 30-May-09 20:08:14

Hangingbellyofbabylon is on a fairly high dose (again, citalopram I think) and hasn't come off it before pregnancy and since getting pregnant - they have actually upped her dose.

I'll find her and get her to talk to you.

Thefearlessfreak Sat 30-May-09 20:24:18

marj1 - I'm really sorry to hear you lost your baby. I did stop taking citalopram when I got pregnant but I had some really rough times during the pregnancy when I wondered if I would have been better to just stay on them to be on an even keel.
The medical advice was to stay on them - they balance the mother's health against that of the baby if the mother is depressed and taking ADs is the sensible option if you think depression might affect you during pregnancy.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Sat 30-May-09 22:26:52

Hi Marj1 - I am really sorry to hear about your baby, I can understand your fears at this point. I was taking Sertraline 50mg when I became pregnant this time, had been taking it since my last little girl was about 2 and was still breastfeeding at the time. Since becoming pregnant things started going down hill again so I went up to 100mg at around 14 weeks. This week (24 weeks) I have gone up to 150mg. The GP explained that with all of the extra blood hanging around when pregnant means you need a higher dose. With my last pregnancy I wasn't on anything and they wouldn't give me any anti-depressants despite the fact that I was in a very bad place. Instead they gave me Diazepam which was pretty heavy duty and used to make the baby pretty dozy too which does not feel good sad. This time round I know the score and will not go through the hell I went through with the first two pregnancies. I think they will always try to advise you not to be on any medications when pregnant but if they actually listen to you they will realise it's the best thing for you in this case. Hang in there and there are quite a few of us here with experience of anti-depressants in pregnancy so we can give you lots of support. smile

marj1 Sat 30-May-09 22:37:22

Thanks Hanging, Things have gotten quite bad in the last week so I'm going to go back to the doctors and have a chat with her. I really can't go on as I have been. Thanks for your advice x

Hangingbellyofbabylon Sun 31-May-09 00:05:17

I know what you mean, I suddenly went really downhill last week but was just about sane enough to drag myself to the doctor a couple of days ago. It is hard hard work but if you had a sore knee you wouldn't think twice about taking meds for it so I am going to try to accept that I need these for my mental health.

mahalo Sun 31-May-09 00:13:15

Hi Marj1.
I lost my baby too at 24 weeks last April. I promise you that there is hope and you will be able to move on from this dark place. I had lots of counselling and starting doing mindfulness meditation. I am pregnant again now - 17 weeks (A year ago I was certain I would never want to try again) and still take anti depressants (Citalopram 30mg) because I find them very helpful and I have read loads about the safety of them and I have found nothing that says they are unsafe in pregnancy - the loss of my baby had absolutely nothing to do with the meds. I have had close supervision from the consultant this time and he is not concerned at all about me taking the meds. The doctor too says that it is much better for me to have good mental health than try to struggle without the meds.
There is some issue that the meds pass into the breast milk but I am happy to bottle feed if needs be.
take care and have faith that you will be able to come to some sort of acceptance and move on in time to a happier place.

Jackaroo Sun 31-May-09 13:08:09

I'm so sorry that you have had this to go through. I was rushed off my drugs (escitalopram) last pg., but this time, different GP, was told that if I could come off by the end that wouldb e great, but not essential...

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there from mums who have been fine/who's babies have been fine, and the latest published reviews support this too...most recently that whilst the baby does receive part of the dose, the effects are self limiting: anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

I took venlafaxine after my last baby was born, and the only way I could come off it was by breaking open the capsules and literally reducing the dose beads at a time.. but it worked brilliantly (after the horror of trying the way the gp suggested...), so please don't let withdrawal stop you from taking something now if you need to.

The bottom line is always that the baby of a depressed mother has a higher risk of problems (even in utero) than a mother on antidepressants.

Good luck, and I hope you get the RL support you need too.


PS I was also lucky enough to have some serious therapy at the same time, and think this is in part why I have been able to come off my drugs in time for hte birth of this baby (in the next 4 weeks). Please see if the doctor can get you a referral.. even if it's not for a while, it might be useful to be doing it/have done it by the time you fall pregnant again.

YanknCock Sun 31-May-09 20:37:59

Hi marj, I was also taking venlafaxine for about 7 years before I got pregnant the first time, and at some points was on a similar or slightly higher dose than you (I went up and down depending on how I was doing). I have long standing recurrent Major Depression, going on from my mid-teens, and prior to the venlafaxine took paroxetine for several years.

When I got pregnant the first time, I had already come down to 37.5 daily, and I started weaning till I was only taking 1/4 of the tablet a day. Then I miscarried, and figured I was so miserable anyway that I might as well get the withdrawal part over in case I got pregnant again. It was a horrible three weeks before I could get off the sofa without being dizzy/anxious. I thought I was handling things okay and maybe I could stay off ADs. Then I got pregnant again a few months later and it all sort of went hellishly wrong.

First they tried me on fluoxetine 10mg which did nothing at all, then citalopram 10mg which also did nothing. Finally I got the dose upped to 20mg and am finally coming out of it enough to function again. From everything I've read, I feel okay about the citalopram even for breastfeeding, and I know he's got a better chance at being happy with me being mentally well and able to cope.

Glad you'll be getting some help this week, and very sorry for your loss.

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